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Member since: Tue Jan 6, 2004, 12:46 PM
Number of posts: 39,114

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Gingrich Used Gimmick To Avoid Paying Taxes On Millions In Income

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R) caused a stir during last week’s Republican presidential primary debate when he released his 2010 tax return and revealed that he had paid a 31.5 percent tax rate on $3.14 million in income. The release came amid widespread calls for Gingrich’s fellow candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R), to release his own tax returns, after Romney admitted his tax rate was about 15 percent.

But further scrutiny of Gingrich’s own returns from tax experts has revealed that his tax rate should have been even higher. That’s because, according to Forbes, Gingrich dodged “tens of thousands of dollars in Medicare payroll taxes” by classifying most of his income from two companies he owns as profits and dividends, therefore avoiding the payroll tax — a technique the IRS has “consistently and successfully attacked” in the past. Newt and Callista Gingrich classified only $444,327 of their income from Gingrich Holdings and Gingrich Productions as ordinary income. Meanwhile, the other $2.4 million earned was classified as profits or dividends, meaning it was not subject to payroll taxes.

According to tax experts interviewed by Forbes, that means Gingrich is dodging taxes he likely should be paying:

“It appears that he is not paying his fair share of Medicare tax,’’ Robert E. McKenzie, a partner in the Chicago law firm of Arnstein & Lehr LLP concluded, in an email to Forbes, after reviewing Gingrich’s 2010 tax return. McKenzie, a past chairman of the Employment Tax Committee of the American Bar Association Tax Section and a member of the IRS’ Advisory Council, added: “There are a multitude of cases where the IRS has successfully challenged the improper tax strategy of this candidate and his accountants. Service businesses are only allowed to distribute a fair return on investment from an S corp. as profits exempt from Medicare taxes. The remainder of profits must be paid as salary subject to a 2.9% Medicare tax levy.”


President Obama Reflects on Significance of Roe V. Wade Case

President Barack Obama is marking the 39th anniversary of the Supreme Court's landmark Roe v. Wade decision by saying that the ruling was more than just about establishing a woman's right to an abortion.

Obama says in a statement that the court's decision also makes clear that the government "should not intrude on private family matters."

The president says he's committed to protecting a woman's right to choose and "this fundamental constitutional right."


Statement by the President on Roe v. Wade Anniversary

As we mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we must remember that this Supreme Court decision not only protects a woman’s health and reproductive freedom, but also affirms a broader principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters. I remain committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose and this fundamental constitutional right. While this is a sensitive and often divisive issue- no matter what our views, we must stay united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant woman and mothers, reduce the need for abortion, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption. And as we remember this historic anniversary, we must also continue our efforts to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.

S.C. votes without new voter ID law


Dr. Brenda Williams, who grew up in the segregated South, has spent 30 years helping patients register to vote. She considers the state's new voter ID law a reminder of when blacks were forced to sit in the back of the bus.

"It is a way of disenfranchisement of certain segments of our society, primarily African-Americans, the elderly, and the indigent," Williams said in an interview in her office in Sumter, halfway between Columbia and Charleston.

"It is very sad to see our legislators try to turn the clock back," she said.

According to the state's own data, blacks in South Carolina are 20 percent more likely than whites to lack a driver's license or a state-issued photo ID. The Justice Department flagged that statistic as evidence that the new law would be discriminatory and blocked it from taking effect under the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Boehner Threatens To Hold Payroll Tax Holiday Hostage To Approval Of Keystone XL

On Fox News Sunday this morning, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) told Chris Wallace that “We’re going to do everything we can to make sure the Keystone Pipeline is approved.” When Wallace pressed him whether Republican leadership would make the pipeline a condition for extending the payroll tax holiday, Boehner admitted, “We may,” adding (several times) that “All options are on the table.” Watch it:


Proponents of the pipeline have dwarfed opponents in lobbying spending, inflated the actual effect it will have on job creation, and spread various myths designed to circumvent its environmental impact.

Two-Thirds Of Small Business Owners Say Citizens United Ruling Hurts Them


Tomorrow is the two-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s historic decision in Citizens United v. FEC, which opened the door for unlimited corporate spending to influence the outcome of elections.

On the eve of the anniversary, a new survey reveals that small business owners overwhelmingly say the ruling hurts their business

Two-thirds of American small business leaders believe the controversial U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United v. FEC case handed down two years ago on January 21 hurts small companies.

In fact, only nine percent of small business leaders thought the ruling positive, according to an independent national survey of 500 small business leaders released today by the American Sustainable Business Council, Main Street Alliance and Small Business Majority.

The survey also found that 88 percent of small business owners hold a negative view of the role money plays in politics, with 68 percent viewing it very negatively.

pdf at link

Food Stamp Families to Critics: Walk in Our Shoes


Some have advanced degrees and remember middle-class lives. Some work selling lingerie or building websites. They are white, black and Hispanic, young and old, homeowners and homeless. What they have in common: They're all on food stamps.

As the food stamp program has become an issue in the Republican presidential primary, with candidates seeking to tie President Barack Obama to the program's record numbers, The Associated Press interviewed recipients across the country and found many who wished that critics would spend some time in their shoes.

Most said they never expected to need food stamps, but the Great Recession, which wiped out millions of jobs, left them no choice. Some struggled with the idea of taking a handout; others saw it as their due, earned through years of working steady jobs. They yearn to get back to receiving a paycheck that will make food stamps unnecessary.

"I could never have comprehended being on food stamps," said Christopher Jenks, who became homeless in his hometown of Minneapolis-St. Paul after a successful career in sales and marketing.

Breaking News On SOPA/PIPA, with Ron Wyden - Countdown with Keith Olbermann

Vote next Tuesday, pre mature
He's hoping people keep speaking out
Definitions way too broad
This has been a day for the history books

Paul Krugman:Reaganite Delusions


Ah. Noah Smith goes reading in the fresh waters, and finds that people there are still claiming that there was a dramatic improvement in growth once Reagan/Friedman came along.

I’ve written about this many times, e.g. here. The great era of US economic growth was the postwar generation; even during the good years of the 90s we didn’t achieve comparable growth, and overall, the post-Reagan era was marked by slower growth than the equivalent period of time pre-Reagan. And I haven’t even gotten into the income distribution thing.

All of which makes me wonder: what goes on in these peoples’ minds? Do they never even think of actually looking at the numbers, because they know that Reagan ushered in a great boom? Inquiring minds (which they obviously don’t have) want to know.

Romney to push anti-illegal immigration stance after debate


Mitt Romney's campaign has invited a trio of anti-illegal-immigration advocates to act as surrogates in the spin room after Monday's debate in South Carolina, according to Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R), one of the surrogates.

Kobach is best known for helping Arizona lawmakers to write a controversial anti-illegal-immigration bill that has since been adopted in other states — including South Carolina.

He said he will be joined by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who has said all illegal immigrants should be deported and won his seat by hammering then-Rep. Chris Cannon (R-Utah) for supporting amnesty for undocumented immigrants, and Bay Buchanan, a longtime conservative activist who was a senior adviser on former Rep. Tom Tancredo's (R-Colo.) 2008 presidential campaign. All three have endorsed Romney.

"The governor’s campaign has asked me to be a surrogate with him to represent him in the spin room after tonight's debate," Kobach told The Hill after clarifying that he would not be speaking at an event with Romney on Monday, as he had earlier indicated. "There will be a couple of his endorsers here — Bay Buchanan and Jason Chaffetz."

Up with Chris Hayes: Citizens United with Sen. Sanders (Part 1and 2)


Bernie Sanders Part 2 of 2 on "UP! with Chris Hayes
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